Thomas Tuchel insisted that Chelsea deliberately did not leave the number nine shirt free in view of the new signing in the future.
Chelsea’s number nine remains vacant after Romelu Lukaku returned to Inter Milan on loan, and Tuchel said none of the current Blues stars wanted to take the shirt.
The Stamford Bridge club will continue to add a striker to its ranks this summer, with Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang understood to be in consideration.
Romelu Lukaku, pictured, has vacated Chelsea’s number nine shirt (John Walton/PA)
The last six Chelsea stars wearing nine shirts have struggled for lasting impact in west London, leading Tuchel to joke that the blues’ central striking numbers still harbor bad luck.
“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed!” Tuchel joked.
“It’s not like we leave it open for tactical reasons, or to a few players in the pipeline who take it naturally.
“There was no great demand for numbers when players wanted to change numbers occasionally. But surprisingly, no one wants to touch it.
“Anyone who is taller than me in the club says to me ‘Ah, you know, like he had nine and he didn’t score and he had nine and he didn’t score either’.
“So now we have a moment where no one wants to touch number nine.”
Before moving to Serie A to impress Roma, Tammy Abraham insisted he had no problem taking on the number nine challenge while playing squad number for two years at Chelsea.
Abraham left Chelsea with business still unfinished, and then Lukaku’s solitary campaign back at Stamford Bridge turned sour.
Tammy Abrahams, pictured, fared better in Chelsea’s number nine shirt than some recent stars (Fabrizio Corraditti/PA)
Fernando Torres, Radamel Falcao, lvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain tried and failed to make a lasting impression as Chelsea’s number nine.
Tuchel remains fairly relaxed about the position, although joked openly about it, and the Blues can still recruit a central striker who will naturally take the shirt.
Chelsea are braced for a transformational summer under new owners Todd Boehley and Clearlake Capital, with Mark Cucurella as the latest high-profile and big-money recruit.
Tuchel still believes the Blues are in transition, but has vowed not to limit his team’s potential for the new campaign.
“I think we will not have our highest level that we can reach throughout the season,” Tuchel said.
“I think it’s normal for everyone, but, for us, it’s absolutely normal and we shouldn’t be too worried because it’s not only since the new owners arrived but also how they came about and the situation before.” I have been restless.
Todd Boehley, pictured, is overseeing Chelsea’s transitional summer (Adam Davey/PA)
“So we didn’t have the stage to decide everything, go on vacation and prepare for five weeks to find out who is in our squad and how we train.
“There was constant change happening within the squad and within the process. I think the first step is to accept it, be okay with it and don’t desire more than you can. This is the situation.
“We tried to focus completely on Everton this week and that’s the right approach because I thought the team was focused again, it’s calmed everyone down and I think we can win Everton.” are ready to go.
“We will see if I am right. Then we will analyze it and then prepare for Tottenham in the same way and I believe that by doing this we will find our shape, we will find our level that we demand of ourselves and that’s it Like I said, I don’t want to lower our expectations before the season but at the same time I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.